During those times when you are trying to work with a student one-to-one, particularly assessment time, it can be very difficult to keep the rest of the kiddos, who are working independently, from coming up and interrupting. Especially if you have 30 kiddos like me!
This can be very frustrating when you are doing reading assessments. It not only affects the attention and concentration of the child with whom you are working, it also impacts their ability to have quality comprehension.
We have the “ask 3 before me” rule in class. This is where the kids must check with 3 “friends” prior to coming to me to find out the answer to the question they are desperate to ask. Most questions they have were covered in the lesson prior to assigning the independent work they are working on, so one of those 3 kiddos should be able to help.
But as we all know, that doesn’t always work. Far too often the kiddos start lining up to ask questions and interrupt.
So, in my class we go on vacation. Just my one-on-one friend and I.
No. Not that kind of vacation.
We go on vacation to the “Light Bulb Lab”. If you are familiar with Kevin Henkes and Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse, you probably remember the light bulb lab. It’s where great minds go to think and create. Or in our 1:1 case… concentrate!
It’s just a table.
With a sign above it.
While sitting there, reading and assessing and whatever else, we wear leis.
I have several for the kiddos to pick from.
They choose one, I choose one, we put them on and “poof” we are on vacation.
People cannot be bothered while they are on vacation. Right?
This little visual reminder helps tremendously – in two ways.
It keeps the kiddos from interrupting. The rest of the class will literally whisper (too loudly) “You can’t go over there! They are on vacation!”
It makes the kiddo working with me one-on-one stay focused while feeling special and happy. Special and happy is GOOD!
Of course it makes them happy! People are HAPPY on vacation!
Another plus? They add some colorful, pretty decor to the room when they are not in use! I have them hanging from a magnetic clip stuck to my window frame.
One of the best places I’ve found for leis is Party City. They usually have a great variety and are pretty inexpensive. Lots of times I find them at Dollar Tree and the 99 cent store, too.
So there you have it – stop the interrupting by creating a peaceful “vacationy-fun” atmosphere. Like I said, easy-peasy!